Research Training

 The mission of the Center on Health Disparities Research Training Program is to recognize talented students and expose them to a diversity of scientific approaches, systems for study, research approaches, and tools and technology. Our centralized strategy for administering our research training programs has enhanced the impact of each one and provided a unique training experience for participants. A unique and innovative feature of these research-training programs is the opportunity for the trainees to have role models, and be role models, for those ahead and behind them in the research pipeline, via the Center's cadre of programs. 



The Center has been awarded NIH training grants to support continuous training of underrepresented biomedical scientists for more than a decade. Our programs to date include: VCU STEP-UP, VCU HERO, VCU NIMHD Centers of Excellence (P60) Research Training, VCU PREP, VCU IMSD, VCU HERO-T and VCU IRACDA programs. The Center on Health Disparities pipeline is designed to:

  • Identify talented UR trainees
  • Enhance basic science education of these individuals
  • Provide mentored research experiences that allow these trainees to develop and capitalize on their interests in biomedical research


Program Highlights

  • Over $12 Million in NIH support for research training since 2008
  • Over 200 scholars trained since 2008
  • Only institution in the Nation with IMSD-Undergraduate, IMSD-Graduate, PREP and IRACDA training programs
  • 95% of IMSD-Undergraduates have graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in the sciences
  • 82% of IMSD-undergraduates graduated with a GPA 3.0
  • 33% of IMSD-undergraduates have progressed to PhD programs, 12% to Masters programs and 10% to Postbac programs. Over 80% have remained in Science or health-related careers
  • 85% of PREP scholars have matriculated into Graduate Programs
  • 29% of IMSD-Graduates have completed their PhDs to date
  • 82% of former IRACDA fellows are in tenure-eligible faculty positions and 100% are in science careers


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